Why this rare Ferrari only brought in $300,000

For a Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder you pay as much as 20 million dollars at a classic car auction. Why then did it only bring in a pittance of that amount?

Just over a hundred of the 250 GT California Spyder were built in the 1960s, half with a short wheelbase and half with a long wheelbase. The short ones are the most valuable. In 2015, one was hammered at $ 21 million.

This is not a real Ferrari

This Ferrari – which has just been auctioned at Bonhams – is a very special 250 GT California Spyder ‘passo corte’, of which only four copies were made. So it should bring in tens of millions, you think, not $313,000.

Ferrari 250 GT
(Image: Bonhams)

The problem is: this is not a real Ferrari. This is a 1985 Modena Spyder California developed by the California company Modena Design & Development. It is a replica with a Ford V8 on board and an automatic gearbox.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

You may know the car from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck (now known from the HBO series Succession), Mia Sara, Jennifer Gray (from Dirty Dancing) and Jeffrey Jones.

Ferrari 250 GT
(Image: Bonhams)

One of the most famous films of the 1980s, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is simply about a bunch of truant students: Ferris, Cameron and Sloane, who head out in Cameron’s father’s Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB.

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“It’s his fault he didn’t lock the garage door,” Ferris defends his decision to take the Ferrari. It goes without saying that the rare Italian sports car will not remain intact.

Ford-V8 met 167 pk

Even in the 1980s, California Spyders were too expensive for the film producers, so they commissioned Modena Design & Development to build four replicas. The 5.0-liter Ford V8 produces 167 horsepower. And because Broderick couldn’t shift gears, an automatic was added.

Ferrari 250 GT
(Image: Bonhams)

The Modena stands on a spaceframe chassis, has independent front suspension, a rigid rear axle and four disc brakes. The body is fiberglass with a steel cage as reinforcement underneath.

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Of the four replicas, three were for driving (this one is one of them). The latter had no powertrain and was used for the crash at the end of the film.

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